About Spamgraffiti

About the artist

Portrait of the artist in flight

David Chien is a Houston, Texas based installation artist. His work focuses on user/ art interaction within a set environment with a strong focus on collaboration and interaction in the public realm. More of his work can be seen at NAKEDGREMLIN!.

Spamgraffiti is a series of online installations created from email spam.

Each environment is created by spooling through a separate email account and visually tagging the twenty-five most recent spam messages on a webpage. Newer spam appears on top and slowly filters out older spam below. Each environment is updated every five minutes. As the rate of spam increases over time, the page itself appears less and less like the previous generation.

One of the focuses to Spamgraffiti is the method in which a person receives spam. Since spam is unwanted and uninvited, it begs the question as to how spam even reaches email accounts.

To address this question, each environment features spam pulled from a unique email account distributed through a documented method. These methods test whether or not spam is generated from an automated process or simply through the hijinks of malicious users. Through the course of the project, these different distribution environments will highlight many of the ethical and unethical practices that exist for spammers.